|Achill Island Road|
|From: || Mallaranny (L824968) |
|To: || Keem (F561045) |
|Distance: || 35 km (21.7 miles)|
|Meets: || N59 |
The Michael Davitt swing-bridge (2008) over Achill Sound links Achill Island to the mainland
The R319 is the main road towards, and then through, Achill Island in the west of County Mayo. It is part of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The road starts as a TOTSO with the N59 west of Mallaranny, where there's a short gap of land between the edges of the Atlantic, leading to the Corraun Peninsula. The first dozen kilometres or so of the R319 are on the peninsula, with the road following its north edge. It crosses into Achill Island on the Michael Davitt bridge (rebuilt 2008) over Achill Sound.
The road continues westwards, winding through large villages and open bog countryside in equal measure. It reaches the sea again at Keel, and after passing through Dooagh it climbs uphill, allowing views of Keem Bay. The road gets progressively narrower and windier until it terminates at a large car park towards the western end of the island. From here paths continue towards the cliffs of Croaghaun, the highest in Ireland. Unfortunately, the sea mist had rolled in on my visit, so I don't know what you can see!
On the return, try some of the unclassified roads on the island, as they take you through some pretty villages and past some wide sandy beaches.